999 Eyes Freakshow & Surreal Sideshow Takes Over Spider House

Just for a Sunday, but the weird vibes will reverberate through tiiiime

Pandinus imperator
Pandinus imperator

Wait, how many eyes?

A hell of a lot more than the Black Scorpion's got hands, you can bet your carny-loving ass on that.

He's only got two hands, the Black Scorpion, just like most other people. But his are no ordinary hands. And his people, the posse this 999 Eyes creative director and master showman travels the country with, they're not your ordinary people.

Freaks is the word: Talented, wildly entertaining, musically rousing freaks. Actual human genetic anomalies, some of these folks, who put on a spectacle of such eerie skill and amazing feats that you might not even notice how their tattoos are so much cooler than your own inky sleeves.

The 999 Eyes crew has been touring for months now, and are finally returning to Austin – and doing a welcome-back gig at the Spider House Ballroom on Sunday night. With That Damned Band, no less. And what's it like, coming back to the ATX after all that time on the road?

Black Scorpion: Anytime I have the chance to return to my home in Austin, it's such a wonderful relief. I've spent the last three millennia on a massive tour traversing time and space with the 999 Eyes Freakshow & Surreal Sideshow and, let me tell you, my wings hurt. But being out here has its own rewards, – I get the rare chance to share my otherwise overlooked song to sing to audiences who come to participate, laugh, learn, and love – the hard way. What I guess I'm trying to say is: I miss my shower the most.

Austin Chronicle: So – Vintage Vaudeville acts and human anomalies in the Age of the Internet? How does that work?

BS: Well, time is just a concept created by a card sharp at the end of it all, because his luck was running out. But thanks to this alien technology, known as the "internet", many young whippersnappers out there are rediscovering the past, looking towards a hopeful future of creating together and watching videos of Goats Screaming Like Humans, edited to Katy Perry's "Firework" video. FYI, the third goat in said video was a former member of our show. We billed him as Beelzebilly the Goat with Road Rage.

AC: Usually, when people speak of "diversity," they mean groups of people who are nonetheless categorized by the physical similarities within each group. Here you've got people who are emblematic of diversity, and who are grouped together … and yet, in this case, it's their unique physical dissimilarities that form the category. People speak of Gay Pride and Black Power and la Raza … tell me, does Freak Pride eclipse all other affiliations?

BS: Freak Power embraces all of our differences. In our national manifesto, it actually states that those preconceived negatives are positives and we should love all regardless.

AC: Amen, brother!

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